Books arrived yesterday and the day before; many of them have already been disseminated to local friends and readers. AWESOME, right?
Yeah, that's where I'm not so sure.
Here's the thing: Where Jude is concerned, I'm a cross between a big sister...and GOD. And where Sam is concerned, well, he's (very very loosely) modeled after my husband (translation: all the things I want in a man), and so I'm a cross between his wife...and GOD. And so I love these two crazy kids...almost as much as they love each other.
Now ask me about my confidence level regarding my skill at showing the world why they, too, should love Sam & Jude. On a scale of 1 - 10 (10 being best) and if you'd asked me a couple months ago, I'd have given myself...an 8 or a 9. Now you ask me, and I'm hovering somewhere around a 4.
That's pretty pathetic.
See, I take criticism pretty well. My dear friend Cory has told me I take criticism better than just about anyone she knows. The good is weighed, absorbed or discarded, and I move on. The bad is weighed, absorbed or discarded, and I move on. Pretty simple. I don't take offense, and the vast majority of the time I agree with the critic.
But I don't do well when people criticize my family because I know how much it hurts them...and since Sam and Jude don't actually exist to be hurt, the only person available to hurt in their stead is ME. That, and if I absorb the idea that I am inept at expressing these two individuals as worthy of pouring over, I'm dead in the water. That hurts, too.
Thing is, no one has offered any negative feedback (thus far), including those who ordered copies a week ago. The vast majority are loving it (or so they say) and already looking forward with great anticipation to Book 2. In fact, the only negative comments I've received are "typo on page..." and hey, that's acceptable. There are always a couple.
So why am I stressing? Why am I milling around my home aimlessly, twiddling my thumbs and fighting a panic attack? Because for the first time since I began the series, I feel totally, completely, utterly vulnerable...and I'm feeling vulnerable for a host of other people. Jude, Sam, Arch, Denise, Teresa, Mrs. Amstad, Stacy, Cassie, Cameron, Annabel, Audrey and Jack, even Derek, that miserable git. Since they can't feel it, I'm feeling it for them.
Kinda like being back in the car on the way to Target listen to Sting and sobbing my eyes out because I'm feeling exactly what Sam will be feeling a few hundred pages from now in a book that hasn't been written yet. It's rather psychotic, really.
Anyway, I didn't expect this. If you are a writer, an aspiring author, or even a reader, be advised: the whole "people buying someone's words" thing is unnerving. Right at this moment I'm standing back from this thing thinking to myself, "Who the hell did you think you were, that people would actually want to waste their time and money on your ridiculous drivel?!" That ego that it takes to publish in the first place all comes crashing down right about the time the publishing actually occurs. I did not know that. Now that I do, I feel like I should share that horrible fact with anyone and everyone considering this route. IT...SUCKS. I'm kind of hoping for a bad review...quickly. ("REALLY?! WHY?!?!?!") Because then it'll be all over, and I can move on. Right now I'm just waiting for that other stinky shoe to drop, and WAITING is PAINFUL. So drop the bloody shoe already, will you? Someone? ANYONE? DROP...THAT...SHOE!!!!!!!!!
Aaaaaaaaaaaaand, on that note, I'm going to bed. I may not be able to fall right to sleep, but I'm going to bed anyway. Good night, my friends, good night.